First of all, I wanted to let you know that I love Love Letters. I read it at work all the time, so I decided I should tell you all my problem. I have been in a relationship for one year with this amazing guy. He's kind, honest, funny, talented, and very secure about himself. I really love him, and he has helped me in so many ways.
However, sometimes it feels like he lacks empathy. Like when I used to work at 6 a.m., he would get upset if I wanted to go to sleep early instead of spending time with him. Also, he always, always wants to see movies or a TV series that he has already seen. Most of them he watched with his ex-girlfriend. In the beginning, I didn't have a problem with this, but sometimes he’ll start remembering things, and he's clearly remembering an experience or moment he had with his ex. I expressed my concerns to him, but continues doing this.
I mean, I really love him. I like the time I spend with him. I love sleeping together and being together, but we are so different. He is very lazy and unorganized (I'm not). He hates my cat I did not see it as a big deal, but I love cats and I wouldn't want a life without them. I feel stuck sometimes, but then I see him and everything goes away. I feel like this list of problems in incomplete, but I'm trying to weigh what I love about him with these disagreements and different priorities. Can you help?
When I talk to people about their good relationships – why they stay with a partner despite disagreements, discomfort, and the occasional desire to be on their own – they often say similar things. Like, "With my partner, I really feel seen." Sometimes they say they feel heard. They also say the word "compromise" a lot.
You should think about those words/ideas and decide whether they apply to your relationship. Sure, your boyfriend is talented, funny, and honest, but does he understand why you're special? Do you feel understood? Or are you just basking in the glow of his security?
Also, does he compromise at all? What has he done to make you more comfortable in the relationship? I’ll admit, I'm not that concerned about the TV thing. It's possible to experience something you like with a new partner and create even better memories. But the cat issue ... the inability to accept your schedule ... these are all real concerns. I'm allergic to cats, by the way, but that's why I wouldn't date someone with a cat. I want people who love cats to go live a wonderful life with the pet they love. I certainly wouldn't date and then shame them.
Instead of creating some list of pros and cons about this man, think about what he might say about you. Why has he chosen you as a significant other? What is he looking for in a partner? Does it match your hope for the future at all? If you can't answer those questions, it's time to ask.
Readers? Must a partner love your pet? Is this relationship one-sided?